Protocol for Carry Magazines

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  • Patched

    Plinker
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    Oct 4, 2021
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    I have been a range plinker for many years and am starting to carry.

    I have read about the need to ensure that your carry gun will work well with your carry ammo. I've seen a wide range in opinions as to how many rounds of defensive ammo (ie hollow points) one needs to shoot to deem acceptable. Then I got to thinking - what about the magazines - what is best practice for testing of magazines in the gun? I plan to keep 3 magazines designated as carry magazines. So these ones will be new and will be spared the rigors of continual range use and training use. I was planning on running a larger number of FMJ rounds and then 50 rounds of defensive ammo through each magazine. Is that enough in these days of ammo prices?
     

    bwframe

    Grayish Man
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    Your choice of pistol may have some effect on this decision.

    Not trying to start the normal Glock vs others argument, but the matter of fact is that it's a very very rare mag malfunction that comes from any (G19/17) glock mag in a stock glock.


    .
     

    gregkl

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    I suppose designating specific mags is good but I just make sure all of my mags work.

    If one doesn't, I either repair or pitch.

    There is an argument for carrying only a clean gun so if that is important, you may want to "prove out" a mag and keep it for your carry mag.

    I agree with BW, depending on the firearm, there may a very small chance of a magazine malfunction.

    I carry a M&P and am not concerned. I have many mags and none of them have been an issue. Plus they don't care what type of ammo I use.

    I would think 50 rounds of your carry ammo is plenty. It would be for me.

    I also shoot my edc at each range visit putting a couple defensive rounds downrange and then finish with range ammo to keep costs down.
     

    Titanium_Frost

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    In my experience you are unlikely to wear out a quality magazine with common carry and casual use. I use my magazines regularly and have yet to break one aside from dropping it on concrete.

    One of the main reasons to carry spare magazines on your person is actually to remedy a malfunction. Self defense shootings RARELY go over 5 rounds. Police will dump mag after mag at/into a "bad" guy but they have qualified immunity. Typically you won't be needing the extra ammo to defend yourself but it's always nice to have.

    If it's a quality manufacturer I will carry a magazine that I have never shot. CZ, Wilson Combat, Sig are some examples of magazines I have never had a malfunction with. But I am prepared if I do. I'll always have that first round even if the mag fails immediately and statistically I have a high probability of resolving my issue by then anyway.
     

    Expat

    Pdub
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    I have never had a mag malfunction on my H&K mags (current EDC) or my Sig mags (prior EDC). I did have a couple of bad no name mags years ago for a 1911. So I don't even have this concern in my head.
     

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    Plinker
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    Oct 4, 2021
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    I carry an HK P30. I have never had any issue with either the gun or the magazine. But then, I never intentionally drop magazines. As I start taking training to improve my skills, it would appear that my training magazines are going to be subject to harder use. For my peace of mind, I plan to keep my 3 carry magazines separate.

    From the responses I see, it does not seem that there is a commonly-accepted protocol for confirming magazine integrity. I think I'll just go with 100 rounds of range ammo and 50 rounds of my defensive ammo through each of the three magazines. Enough for a brisk outing but not enough to gunk up the mags. Thanks for the input, everyone
     

    Creedmoor

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    I carry an HK P30. I have never had any issue with either the gun or the magazine. But then, I never intentionally drop magazines. As I start taking training to improve my skills, it would appear that my training magazines are going to be subject to harder use. For my peace of mind, I plan to keep my 3 carry magazines separate.

    From the responses I see, it does not seem that there is a commonly-accepted protocol for confirming magazine integrity. I think I'll just go with 100 rounds of range ammo and 50 rounds of my defensive ammo through each of the three magazines. Enough for a brisk outing but not enough to gunk up the mags. Thanks for the input, everyone
    Always remember a magazine is like ammo, both are cheap consumables.
     

    cosermann

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    200 rounds of your defensive ammo thru those 3 mags should do it.

    Designating mags for carry isn’t a bad idea, since if you train much you can beat the crap out if your training mags.

    And, If you don’t designate, you won’t know if that last mag drop into the dirt/stones/concrete was “the one” that fouled the mag you're now carrying.

    Some folks take this to the level of having a duplicate of their carry gun designated for solely for training.
     

    jerrob

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    The adage "practice like ya play" comes to mind with this topic.
    Practice with the same mags, ammo and pistol that you'll carry for self defense.
    Nothing at all wrong with rolling through a few boxes of FMJ at the range, but make sure to finish off the session with the stuff you're betting your life on and become proficient with using it.

    I like Mec-Gar mags in my Sig and Beretta, never had an issue with them. I hear the same about the Glock mags, just like BW's post upstream, but have no first hand knowledge.

    Your plan sounds solid.
     

    ECS686

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    How I do it is I run a couple mags of ball ammo through my designated carry gun. Then I stuff them with my JHP stuff and those are only used for carry. I use several mags for practice/teaching and matches. No need to have my good mags bet beat up dropping for mag changes.

    As far as carry ammo and testing unless your running a custom 1911 (like one you sent off years ago to get everything tweaked) the days of needing to run 200 rounds is antiquated.

    A box of 20-50 should tell you what you need to know. Modern manufacturing they are no longer jam a mastics so long as it’s a quality make (Glock S&W Sig Walther HK etc) and factory OEM parts and mags.

    And today’s 1911’s from Colt and Springfield run JHP with no issues unlike the ones 30 or more years ago.
     

    bwframe

    Grayish Man
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    Jeez, not another thread gone ACAB...

    shake-my-head.gif
     

    bwframe

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    Back on topic...

    If you are serious about testing your carry gear, especially magazines, shooting sports competitions and self defense classes provide solid oportunity. Shooting practice and most drills at the range are great, but do not compare to the intensities of timed and ordered courses of fire.

    Running your pistol hot and dirty. Picking up mags out of gravel and dirt every stage. Drawing and holstering every time as per command. Loading, unloading as ordered along with numerous mag changes on the clock. Not to mention how your sweat dripping off of it all effects things? All of these conditions and more are conditions rarely seen when shooting alone or informal practice with friends at the range.

    The pressure of the timer and or eyes upon you can magically call up Murphy to trip you up and expose things that you didn't know you didn't know.

    A fair amount of folks just don't really know how their gear will perform when taxed. Even if their equipment has been flawless, they might not know that they are just waiting for a tolerance issue to sneak up and effect them. In a group setting of training or competition, watching how other's gear performs can be enlightening, even if your gear has been perfect so far. You can learn to watch for or even duplicate issues that poorly effect other's equipment that is similar to yours.

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    VERT

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    Jan 4, 2009
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    The magazine I keep in the gun is newer and has only been fed self defense ammo. I occasionally shoot my carry ammo and replace. Every once in while I buy a couple new magazines and rotate.

    My spare magazines are whatever practice mag I have that doesn’t look like the dog chewed on it.
     

    Patched

    Plinker
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    0   0   0
    Oct 4, 2021
    57
    18
    NW Indiana
    Back on topic...

    If you are serious about testing your carry gear, especially magazines, shooting sports competitions and self defense classes provide solid oportunity. Shooting practice and most drills at the range are great, but do not compare to the intensities of timed and ordered courses of fire.

    Running your pistol hot and dirty. Picking up mags out of gravel and dirt every stage. Drawing and holstering every time as per command. Loading, unloading as ordered along with numerous mag changes on the clock. Not to mention how your sweat dripping off of it all effects things? All of these conditions and more are conditions rarely seen when shooting alone or informal practice with friends at the range.

    The pressure of the timer and or eyes upon you can magically call up Murphy to trip you up and expose things that you didn't know you didn't know.

    A fair amount of folks just don't really know how their gear will perform when taxed. Even if their equipment has been flawless, they might not know that they are just waiting for a tolerance issue to sneak up and effect them. In a group setting of training or competition, watching how other's gear performs can be enlightening, even if your gear has been perfect so far. You can learn to watch for or even duplicate issues that poorly effect other's equipment that is similar to yours.

    .
    Yup - that's the next step. Once I get my gear sorted out, I'll be checking out training options up here. Competition is probably down the road - will be a good test not only of gear but performance under stress.
     
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